12 June 1998
NZ dairying will be competitive
DEREGULATION of New Zealands dairy industry will not reduce its competitiveness on international markets, claims Sir Dryden Spring, chairman of the NZ dairy board.
Speaking in London, he said that although deregulation would not take place for at least the next two years, he was confident the change in structure, which will remove the boards statutory powers, would not have a detrimental effect on the industry.
“Farmers are well aware of the strength in sticking together and value the New Zealand Dairy Board as a single seller,” said Sir Dryden. “Our industry knows that unity gives economic strength to compete internationally.”
The NZ Government has asked all producer boards to submit proposals by 15 November to comment on the effects of deregulation. In the meantime, restructuring of the countrys dairy sector continues, with the number of co-ops cut from 13 to nine in the past year and expected to fall to three or four in the next couple of years.
The combined effect of the economic collapse in some Asian countries and the start, next year, of world trade negotiations means NZ farmers will survive only through co-operation, Sir Dryden said.
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 12-18 June, 1998